Grace period for property sector reforms extended

Published: 4 Sep 2020

In response to the extensive impacts of COVID-19 on the property sector, the NSW Government has extended the grace period for penalties under new Property and Stock Agents Act regulations until 1 April 2021.

Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said this six month extension would help the industry at a time when agents have been required to modify their businesses to comply with public health orders and respond to unprecedented demand from tenants and landlords.

“This is not a decision taken lightly by the regulator, however in this extraordinarily uncertain period our decisions must prioritise supporting businesses and help to continue trading,” Mr Anderson said.

“This Government takes a common sense approach to regulation. We will work hand-in-hand with industry over the next six months to provide advice and education on their new obligations, rather than issuing fines.

“These reforms will lift standards in the real estate and property sector by ensuring the industry continues to attract and maintain high quality professionals, and we look forward to working with agents and licensees to implement the regulations.”

The new regulations, which came into effect on 23 March 2020, include:

  • restrictions on the functions that can be performed by assistant agents, class 2 licensees and class 1 licensees who are not nominated as a licensee in charge
  • maintaining separate trust accounts to hold rental and sales money
  • new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements
  • enhanced Supervision Guidelines which require maintenance of comprehensive operational procedures by the principal licensee

More information on these changes and Fair Trading’s approach to compliance during the next six months can be found on the Fair Trading website.

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